Flo Settles FTC Charges of Deceptive Privacy Users

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The developer behind Flo, a period and fertility tracker app used by more than 100 million women, on Wednesday settled federal charges that it misled users about its data handling practices by sharing their intimate health information with Facebook and Google.

In its privacy policies, Flo had repeatedly promised users that it would protect the private details of their menstrual cycles and fertility, and that the data would only be used to provide services to them, according to a complaint filed by the United States. Federal Trade Commission.

Instead, federal regulators said Flo has shared sensitive health information about millions of users for years with many third parties, including Facebook and Google’s analytics units, as well as two. mobile analytics services, AppsFlyer and Flurry. The private data included information relating to users’ periods, pregnancies and childbirth, according to the complaint.

Additionally, Flo did not place limits on how Facebook, Google and other companies could use women’s health information, federal regulators said, giving third parties the ability to use the data to for advertising and other purposes.

The proposed federal regulations prohibit the app developer, Flo Health, from deceiving users about its data management practices. It also requires Flo to obtain users’ consent before sharing their health information and to obtain an independent review of its privacy practices.

In settling the case, Flo did not admit any wrongdoing. In a statement, the company said it does not share user health information without their permission. “We are committed to ensuring that the confidentiality of the personal health data of our users is absolutely paramount,” the statement added.

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